This week has been one hell of a week, we have been bombarded by a news cycle which is dominated by negativity and fear. We have also been stuck at home for what feels like an eternity and well I guess it’s understandable to say we are a bit overwhelmed. Despite all the news, boredom and fear we still have to get on with our lives, with the uncertainty of whether or not our exams are taking place, and trying to settle into the new routine of e-learning- from finding the resources to adapting to online lessons and staying motivated.
I am living in Kuwait so this is my fourth week at home, and my third week taking online lessons so here are some tips on how you could get the most out of your online homeschool learning experience. I will also attach some links towards the end for some resources you may find useful.
Apply Yourself To Your Online Lessons
Online lessons for many of us is a new thing, and it can certainly seem challenging and overwhelming. Nonetheless, they are very useful if you apply yourself and actually put in the effort.
1. Read up on your lessons before the scheduled online classes with your teachers, this will ensure you’re more focused during the lessons because you are partially familiar with the content. This way you’ll also be able to ask better questions and subsequently better understanding the topic.
2. Make notes; try to treat the space like a classroom. If you normally write notes in class there is no reason you shouldn’t during online lessons- otherwise, you’re just slacking off and halting your own understanding.
3. Listen- just because the teacher can’t see you or isn’t there doesn’t excuse you going off to Instagram, or just attending for the sake of it. By doing so you’re just making this process harder for yourself, and when you do try to study you’ll find yourself wishing you were listening.
Stay In Contact With Your Teachers
Remember, this is as much as a challenge for our teachers as it is for us, they have to adapt to new teaching methods that they may be unfamiliar with. It’s pretty much a learning experience on both ends and you need to respect and understand that but also contact them as feedback will make both your life and their lives easier.
1. You need to tell them if you feel overwhelmed. If you feel like your teacher is assigning so much work, there is a chance you’re not the only person in that position. By telling your teacher(s) they will be able to reassess the workload. Again, it’s the first time they do this so you will need to tell them what’s working and what’s not.
2. Ask questions. Email them, text them, comment on google classroom- just make sure you fully understand the topic, and if you can’t solve a question ask. Keep in mind that even if you are in school you are bound to struggle with certain topics, so if you are struggling at home you need to remind yourself that it’s okay and seek help. You can always ask for extra resources and even have online study dates with your friends to spice up the routine.
Create A Schedule
In school we have timetables to help us organize our days, there is no reason why you shouldn’t create one now. In fact, a schedule could be exactly what you need. Spending two weeks at home can very easily turn into being lazy and counterproductive, and so if you have a system to keep yourself you are more likely to actually focus and get things done.
1. Set daily tasks- sort of like a checklist
2. Create daily timetables by assigning slots to your different subjects, but also give yourself breaks and time to breathe
3. Divide the tasks you have between your work/assignments and life/well being
4. Have subject-specific to-do lists for the tasks you have per subject
You can use this link here for tips about time blocking and a template
If you are studying try to eliminate any forms of distractions around you:
1. close your room’s door, put your phone on: do not disturb, etc. You are staying at home for a very long time it’s very easy to get distracted and give in to procrastination as there is no school to properly set tasks and set you on track- so you will need to hold yourself accountable.
2. Close irrelevant/distracting tabs on your browser or use a new window only for your studies.
3. Create a designated learning space: so pick a desk or a table and set it up for your learning. From time to time you may try a new spot but try to associate that place with learning and studying.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR FRIENDS AND CLASSMATES
Make a WhatsApp group, have zoom/skype hangouts with your friends where you could revise or ask each other questions.
I know you have probably been seeing this all over your Instagram feeds, but take this time to exercise both a physical and mental cleanse. It might seem impossible to be in a good place mentally when you’re stuck at home day and night, however, try to channel your energy to:
1. Exercising from home
2. Staying hydrated
3. Getting your full sleep
4. Focusing on your progress
5. Learning new things
Khan Academy https://www.khanacademy.org: you can use this for pretty much everything, their videos are excellent and very comprehensive.
For Business & Economics use: https://www.dineshbakshi.com
Visit Chemguide for chemistry https://www.chemguideforcie.co.uk
Knockhardy for chemistry http://www.knockhardy.org.uk/sci.htm
Use CrashCourse for your respective courses https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse
Mr. Pollock for Biology https://www.youtube.com/user/MrPollockBiology
For IB students: https://www.ibdocuments.com
For Linguists: https://www.wordreference.com
Spark notes for English Lit https://www.sparknotes.com
Tutor2u for business, economics, psychology, sociology, geography, and politics https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCe83jLdZ3PuqVwAHe6B3U2A
Cambridge will have free access to their textbooks soon https://www.cambridge.org/core/what-we-publish/textbooks